May 11th, 2009

2009 Bianchi Cup Draws Shooters from Many Countries

Bianchi CupThe 30th Anniversary NRA National Action Pistol Championship, also known as the NRA Bianchi Cup, will be held in Columbia, Missouri, May 18 to 23, 2009. Over 200 of the world’s top pistoleros will compete at the Green Valley RPC’s Chapman Academy Range. Tens of thousands of dollars in cash and prizes will be awarded, making the Bianchi Cup one of the richest shooting sports events. The NRA Blog will provide daily updates from the match.

The 2009 event will offer an Open Class, Metallic Division, and (new for 2009) Production Division. The Bianchi Cup originated in 1979 as a Law Enforcement Training match. The “founding father” was holster maker (and former police officer) John Bianchi. Since its inception, the NRA Bianchi Cup has retained its original, 4-event course of fire:

The Practical Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at distances from 10 yards to 50 yards under varying time limits.

The Barricade Event: From within shooting boxes and behind barricades, a shooter fires at targets on either side of the barricade at different distances and under varying time limits.

The Falling Plate Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at 8 inch round steel plates arranged in banks of six at distances from 10 to 25 yards under varying time limits.

The Moving Target Event: From within shooting boxes at distances ranging from 10 to 25 yards, the shooter fires at a target moving from one side to another (back and forth) with the target being exposed for only 6 seconds.The moving target is shot while moving to the left as well as to the right.

The Bianchi Cup draws shooters from all over the world. In 2008, competitors haled from Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, and the United States. For more info about the Bianchi Cup and Action Pistol events, contact Tom Hughes at or (800) 672-3888, extension 1478. Bianchi Cup revolver photo courtesy J.C. Blauvelt Gunsmith.

Permalink Competition 1 Comment »
May 10th, 2009

Davis and Isenhour Set New 600-Yard IBS Records

On May 9, 2009, friends and shooting buddies Larry Isenhour and Mike Davis set two new IBS 600-yard records at the Piedmont Gun Club (Rutherfordton, NC). First, Isenhour broke his own 50-3X (0.944″) 600-yard IBS Light Gun Score Record, shooting a perfect 50-5X at 600 yards, with a tiny .904″ group. Larry used a 6 BRX and Berger 105gr VLDs to shoot his sub-inch group and perfect score, in tricky conditions. Not to be outdone, Mike Davis shot an impressive 4-Target, 20-shot Aggregate 600-yard Heavy Gun Record of 1.460″. Mike was also shooting a 6 BRX and Berger 105gr VLDs, but in a mammoth rig with a 1.45″-diameter Brux barrel. Mike’s Heavy Gun looks like it came from Area 51, complete with the stealth gray finish.

Larry Isenhour IBS Record Target
Photo courtesy Greg Culpepper

ISENHOUR 600-Yard Record: 50-5X (.904″) Score
Larry reports: “Sometimes everything just works right and things like this happen. It was the last target of the day and it was pretty windy. Sam Hall was shooting and I knew I’d have to shoot great to beat him. I got on target and must have got those five rounds downrange in 12-15 seconds.” Larry’s gun wears a beautiful maple and walnut stock made by his brother, Robert (Mike) Isenhour. Larry says: “The stock is the same as in the photo, but now the gun has a Viper action and a different scope. This gun was smithed by Mike Davis.” Other gun specs and Larry’s load data are listed below. Readers should note that Larry was running a “no-turn” chamber in a gain-twist barrel, and shooting H4895. Most guys run Varget or RL15 with the 6BRX, but this proves that H4895 can be super-accurate in 6BR Improved cases. Larry does caution that “with H4895 I’m getting single-digit ES, but you have to watch the pressure as you get near max. Reloder 15 is a little more forgiving at the top end — it doesn’t spike so hard.” Larry is running his 105gr VLDs at 2970 fps. He says: “I’ve run ‘em as fast as 3050 fps with the BRX but the accuracy is better at 2970. At that velocity the BRX is coasting and you’re not working the brass hard.” Larry’s load procedure involves three dies. First he neck-sizes with a .268″ bushing in a Redding neck die. Then he uses a .308 Win FL die to size the body. As a final step he uses a Redding body die to bump the shoulder about 1.5 thousandths.

Larry Isenhour IBS Record Target

Stiller Viper Drop-port action
Isenhour Maple/Walnut stock
30″ Krieger (gain-twist, 1:9″ to 1:8.3″) 6mm barrel
Leupold 45X Competition Scope
6BRX .272″ neck (brass is NOT turned, but necks are mic’d)
Berger 105 VLDs, Tungsten Disulfide coated
32.5 grains Hodgdon H4895, Fed 205M

“What about that gain-twist barrel?” we asked Larry. He revealed: “Well, there’s a story behind that. This was one of four prototype barrels Krieger produced that we sourced through Lester Bruno. Krieger wanted to keep things quiet until the barrels had been proven in competition. Well I guess we can let the cat out of the bag. Yep the Krieger shoots great with a slght gain twist (9 to 8.3). However, if I had my choice, I’d go with a 28″ length rather than a 30″. You don’t need 30″ with a BRX.”

DAVIS 600-Yard Record: 1.460-inch, 4-target HG Aggregate
Mike Davis’s 4-Target, 20-shot Aggregate was also set with the dimunitive 6BRX cartridge, but in a massive rifle. Davis stealth gray rig is a true heavy gun, complete with a full-length rest set-up. Mike told us: “Larry and I started shooting together over ten years ago. In early 2002 I started building my own personal guns. Larry was the first person that I built a rifle for other than my own. This new gain-twist barrel for long range was something that Krieger and I have been working on trying to get a twist rate exactly what I wanted. It looks like [Krieger] has got the twist just right. These things are going to shoot! I think Larry’s group is proof.” Mike added: “Both of the barrels I am shooting now are Brux barrels. These barrels are great, and the people are great to work with.”


DAVIS 6BRX Heavy Gun:
Alvey Aluminum stock
30″ Brux 1.450″ diam., 1:8.5″ twist
6BRX .272″ no-turn neck
Leupold 45x Competition Scope
Berger 105 VLDs, Tungsten Disulfide coated
32.5 grains Reloder 15, CCI 450 primers

CLICK HERE for Video of Mike Davis Shooting his Light Gun in 2008.

Permalink - Videos, Competition 4 Comments »
May 10th, 2009

E. Arthur Brown 6 PPC Falling Block Auction

There’s a very nice E. Arthur Brown model 97 falling block on Gunbroker right now (Auction Item 1278790919), with a few more hours left before close of auction. This “custom grade” rifle features many nice upgrades, including a heavy barrel with muzzle brake, scope rail, brass stock wrist-piece, french gray finish, and select wood. What caught our eye was the fact that this particular rifle is chambered in 6 PPC — plus the gun’s in great condition.

model 97 6PPC

Memories of a 6PPC Falling Block
A friend of this Editor acquired a very similar model 97 some years ago, also chambered in 6 PPC. It proved to be superbly accurate. My friend wanted a slim, lightweight rifle for backcountry coyote hunts. He would often trek long distances during his hunts, so the rifle had to be easy on the shoulder but still capable of half-MOA (or better) accuracy. We both loved that little falling block (and it took its share of ‘yotes). Here’s your chance to save hundreds over the cost of buying a deluxe model 97 from the factory. Note, this auction will end today, May 10th, unless the item is relisted.

model 97 6PPC

model 97 6PPC

CLICK HERE for Model 97 Features Video | CLICK HERE for Model 97 Varmint Hunting Video

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
May 10th, 2009

New Windows Wireless-Capable Netbook for $239.99

A small laptop (netbook) has myriad uses for shooters. At home, use the netbook to record your load data, or access the web for factory reloading recipes. At the range, a small laptop can run a ballistics program, connect to your chronograph, provide weather data, or even display video from a target cam. Light and compact, the latest-generation netbooks are easy to carry in a range kit. And if you install GPS software (sold separately), you can even use a netbook for vehicle navigation!

Acer One Netbook Ballistics

5/11/09 UPDATE: We told you this was a great deal, and it looks like Amazon SOLD OUT at the $239.99 price. However they have similar deals starting at $259.99. CLICK HERE for current Acer Aspire One deals.

If you’re looking for a very inexpensive compact netbook, Amazon has a great deal. Right now, for just $239.99, you can purchase an Acer Aspire One AOA150-1029, 8.9″ Netbook with Windows XP Home, 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 Processor, 1 GB RAM, and a 120 GB Hard Drive. Weighing just 2.19 lbs. (one kilogram) this unit comes with WiFi connectivity, a memory card reader, and a Webcam. This machine can run all your favorite shooting software — ExBal, Excel, OnTarget, QuickLOAD — and you can even install GPS software. (NOTE: ALL software must be purchased separately). To get this special $239.99 price, with FREE SHIPPING, click the link below.

Acer Aspire One 8.9-Inch Netbook (1.6 GHz Intel Atom, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB HD, XP Home)

Permalink Hot Deals 1 Comment »
May 9th, 2009

M/Sgt. Jim Owens' Wind-Reading Web Seminar

Marine M/Sgt. Jim Owens (USMC, retired) is well-known to many readers as a shooting instructor and the creator of, a popular web resource for High Power and Service Rifle shooters. features articles, tips, products and instructional material for both the beginner and the veteran shooter.

Jim Owens has pioneered interactive instructional web seminars (Webinars) for competitive shooters. The way it works is you log onto the web, then call a special phone number. While you watch a PowerPoint presentation over the internet, Jim is “live” on the phone. During the Webinar, up to 15 students can ask questions and listen to Jim’s answers via a conference call connection. If it sounds complicated, don’t worry… the system, which employs web technology, works great.

Reading The Wind Webinar with Jim Owens
On Tuesday, May 12th, at 8:00 pm Central Time, Jim Owens hosts a Webinar class on Reading the Wind & Using Kentucky Windage. You can view two PowerPoint presentations on your computer while listening and talking to Jim on your speaker phone. Topics will include: Determining speed, direction and changes in the wind; Reading the Mirage; Reading the range flags; How to make the Wind work for you; and much more.

The Wind Reading Webinar class costs $15.00. There is limited “seating” (15 people per class). You can pay with PayPal or send a check. To sign up, e-mail Place “Wind Class May 12th” in the subject line. Give your name, e-mail and phone number. For more info or questions, call Jim at (334) 347-0020.

Monthly FREE Webinars by Jim Owens
If you would like to try one of Owens’ Web Seminars at no cost, Jim offers a FREE class on his Advanced Theory once a month. The next Free Webinar is scheduled for May 26, 2009 at 8:00 pm Central Time. Act soon, as this Webinar is limited to 15 “students”. To register, e-mail with “Free Class May 26th” in the subject line.

CLICK HERE for info on FREE Jim Owens Advanced Theory Webinar.

Permalink - Articles, Competition No Comments »
May 9th, 2009

Spaces Still Available for Williamsport (PA) Benchrest School

From June 5-7, the Original Pennsylvania 1000 Yard Club will host a multi-day, long-range benchrest school at its Williamsport range. For $200, up to 36 students will enjoy 1 night and 2 days of intensive training under the tutelage of some of the nations’ top 1000-yard shooters. There are still a few spots available for the class, which is designed for novice to intermediate shooters. The sign-up deadline is June 1st.

Williamsport BR Club School

On Friday night (June 5th), students will meet their mentors, including school director Frank Grappone. Saturday (June 6th), the class moves to the range for a full day of hands-on technical training. Topics will include precision reloading, load development, gun handling, use of chronograph, analysis of shooting results, gun cleaning, and target analysis. The Williamsport Club will provide the rifles and all reloading components. Saturday’s training sessions are followed by a steak dinner, included in the $200 seminar price.

On Sunday (June 7th), after an early training session covering bench set-up and match strategies, students will participate in a 1000-yard match, spending time both behind the trigger and in the pits. Instructors will explain how to read conditions, and will demonstrate target measuring and analysis after the relays. The program wraps up before 4:00 pm on Sunday.

The 1000-yard Benchrest School is limited to 36 students (with less than 3 students per advisor). Intructors include Gunsmiths Bruce Baer and Mark King, our Asst. Editor Jason Baney, and many Williamsport Hall of Fame shooters. For more info, email School Director Frank Grappone, frankgrappone [at]

Williamsport Benchrest School

Permalink News 2 Comments »
May 9th, 2009

Job Watch: ATK Seeks Sales Rep in Idaho

ATK Commercial Products is seeking a full-time Sales Representative to work from its Lewiston, Idaho plant. ATK is America’s leading producer of ammunition and also sells a wide variety of shooting products under its many “house brands”: CCI, Champion Target, Federal, Outers, RCBS, Speer, and Weaver. ATK’s Lewiston, Idaho location is seeking an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Sales Rep to add to its staff. Candidates should have at least three years of sales experience and be able to travel up to 50% of the time.

CLICK HERE for more job info and to submit resume.

Permalink News No Comments »
May 8th, 2009

Cabela's Bargain: Burris Scope & Garmin GPS for $189.88

Here’s a sweet deal for you game hunters out there. Cabela’s is offering a FREE Garmin eTrex hand-held GPS with the purchase of a 3-9x40mm Burris Fullfield II scope. Total cost: $189.88. Typical “street price” for the 3-9×40 Fullfield II Rifle Scope by itself is $209.95, while the Garmin eTrex retails for $99.00 by itself. So, if you subtract the value of the GPS, you’re getting the Burris scope for about 90 bucks. Not bad for a scope with fully-coated lenses and the Burris No-BS “Forever” warranty. Here’s what one Cabela’s buyer said: “Great price for a scope and a free GPS. I have no problems recommending this scope it is a good quality scope with clear optics. The GPS is first generation without the features most people want but it will get you home if you are lost.”

Burris GPS Combo Sale

The Garmin eTrex GPS is considered a rugged classic. It is compact and light weight at mere 5.3 ounces with batteries, with the buttons positioned on the side for easy, one handed operation. The casing is rugged and waterproof to IPX-7 standards. The eTrex will operate for about 15 hours on two AA batteries.

Permalink Hot Deals 2 Comments »
May 7th, 2009

Bruno Tests New ShadeTree F-Class Rest Base

Butch Lambert sent his new ShadeTree Engineering F-Class rest base to German Salazar in Phoenix for testing and evaluation. The Daily Bulletin previewed a prototype rest base last month. (CLICK HERE for previous report.)

Shadetreee Eng. front rest

ShadeTree Rest is Lightweight and Easily Assembled
Designed to be light for air travel and easy carrying at the range, the anodized aluminum rest base weighs just 3 pounds without the top or feet. Once fully assembled, this rest base is lighter than anything else on the market, but provides all the stability needed on the range. The legs attach with thumbscrews and the center section slides right in. Assembly was a matter of a minute or two and can be done at the range without any tools. The legs have an I-beam section for light weight and rigidity, the anodizing is well-executed. Almost any currently-made top assembly will fit the base as will the leg screws. We found the rest to be well designed and manufactured.

Shadetreee Eng. front rest

Bruno Wins Match Using ShadeTree Rest Base
Well-known benchrester Lester Bruno of Bruno Shooters’ Supply also shoots F-Class in matches at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility. Lester volunteered to give the rest a workout. Lester used the rest in a local 600-yard match May 2nd. Lester’s first comment was that the ShadeTree rest was a lot easer to carry on and off the firing line than a heavy cast iron rest. After shooting the match, Lester confirmed the rest’s ease of use and stability. Given that Lester won the match, we can surmise that the rest was an effective tool for the job and a worthwhile product for any F-Class shooter, particularly one who travels by air. To learn more about price and availability of the F-Class rest base, call Butch Lambert at (972) 524-2247 or email papawlambert [at]

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 1 Comment »
May 7th, 2009

Birders Test 36 Spotting Scopes — Kowa 88mm Tops Field

Spotting Scope ReviewLast year, the Cornell Ornithology Lab conducted ScopeQuest 2008, a detailed comparison test of 36 spotting scopes. Optics (ranging in price from $220.00 to $4500.00) were viewed side-by-side and rated according to sharpness, color fidelity, edge-to-edge focus, brightness, distortion, and general optical quality. The testing team also considered ease of handling/focus, and eye relief (scopes with longer eye relief are better for eyeglass wearers). Two of the finest spotting scopes has used, the Zeiss Diascope 85 T FL, and the Swarovski APS 80 HD, performed very well as expected, and ended up near the top of the list. The TeleVue-85 APO, a very large refractor, received the highest ratings for image quality (both at 20X and 60X), but lost points for easy of use and general “feel”. The overall winner among the 36 spotting scopes tested was the Kowa TSN-883 Prominar, a new-generation spotter with a huge 88mm objective, dual focusing knobs, and spectacular flourite glass. The results of Cornell’s spotting scope test are found on the website. Click the link below for a charrt ranking all 36 scopes according to their overall ratings.

CLICK HERE for Spotting Scope Test Summary (.pdf file)

Kowa TSN-883 Prominar
CLICK HERE for large photo of Kowa TSN-883 on Tripod.

Ken Rosenberg, summarizing the findings of Cornell’s ScopeQuest testers, named the Kowa TSN-883 the big winner. Rosenberg writes: “Fifteen models competed in the most expensive category, including 12 conventional zoom scopes and three astronomy “cross-overs”[.] Among the conventional scopes, the surprising (to us) and virtually unanimous top-of-the-line ranking went to the Kowa TSN-883 Prominar. In side-by-side comparisons with Swarovski, Leica, Zeiss, and Nikon, both Kowa scopes provided a slightly, but noticeably, brighter and crisper image at 60x than any other scope. The three-dimensional detail visible … with these scopes, even in dim light, is simply phenomenal.”

Swarovski ATS Spotting ScopeRosenberg also gave high praise to the Swarovski ATS 65 HD, noting that it was much lighter and compact than the Kowa 883, while offering nearly the image quality. Rosenberg concludes: “For birders willing to take the plunge for the very best optics at whatever cost, the top choices, in my view, are either the Kowa 883/884 or 773/774 or the Swarovski HD 80mm or 65mm scopes. Any of these top scopes will give you years of pure birding pleasure. Although the larger Kowa offers the brightest, sharpest image available from a conventional zoom scope under the toughest birding conditions, the small Swarovski still delivers the best image per ounce of any scope.”

More Products Worth Considering
The Cornell Test did NOT include some premium spotting scopes, including Pentax’s top-of-the-line PF-100ED, or the new Leica 82mm Televid APO HD. The big Leica APO is considered by many experts to be the new benchmark for spotting scope quality. However, it is enormously expensive. The 82mm Leica APO HD retails for $3200 for the body only. That’s nearly $900 more than the Kowa TSN-883 Prominar body only.

Permalink Gear Review, Optics No Comments »
May 6th, 2009

Amos Sets 600-Yard Record with 'Universal' Benchrest Rifle

Roger Amos (aka Expiper) is a long-time friend of this website and member of our Shooters’ Forum. We were pleased to see that, while competing at the NBRSA 600-yard Nationals, Roger set a new NBRSA Light Gun 3-target score record of 145-4X. Roger set the record with his 13.4-lb Panda-actioned, 8-twist 6BR, the same gun he shoots in 100/200 yard benchrest matches. Roger has demonstrated that a single gun can be competitive at multiple distances. This concept of a “universal benchrest rifle” is something we’ve advocated for quite some time, as we would like to see more 600-yard shooters compete at 100/200 and vice-versa. Also, with the tough economic times, it makes good sense to have one rifle that can do double-duty. Roger explains that his record-setting rifle “is typical of what I [now shoot] because of the high cost of building a target gun that is only legal/shootable at one distance or discipline. I am disabled and can’t carry a heavy gun because of my back. Out of necessity came up with this ‘universal rifle’ solution.”

Amos Universal BR rifle

Roger’s record-setting 6BR features a 28.5″ Krieger barrel (UHV profile), with a .237″ bore, .271″ no-turn neck, and .040″ freebore. That freebore length is much shorter than on most 600-yard guns, which typically have .090″-.120″ freebore. With an .040″ freebore, Roger can shoot both the 100+ grain bullets as well as the 62-68 grainers. At 600 yards, Roger runs Berger 105gr VLDs, .015″ into the lands, pushed by Reloder 15 and Fed 205M primers.

Amos Universal BR rifle

Fast-Twist Barrels at Short Ranges
Roger tells us that: “I have been shooting 8-twist barrels for several years now at 100-200-300 and they will shoot just as well as a traditional 14-twist (point blank) barrel … IF you use GOOD bullets. I have found that Barts and Fowler 62-68s will stand the extreme rotation associated with 3600+ fps and 1:8″ twist. Some bullets can’t take it. You just gotta try whatever you have and see for yourself. I have found the most accuracy at 100-200 with the 66-80 grain Fowler bullets or the 80gr Bergers. At 300 yards the 80gr Berger or 90gr Berger BT are excellent! At 600-1000 yards, the Berger 95gr VLDs can outperform the 105s because of their extra speed (although the 95s have a lower BC, their greater velocity can offset the BC advantage of the heavier bullet.)

Most of my stocks are around 22 ounces and give a finished weight of approximately 12 pounds. My Kelbly Klub stock on this gun is 48 ounces, for an all-up weight of 13.4 pounds. To help with balance, this particular stock has extra matrix in the fiber and is heavier than normal for point-blank guns. This gun can make weight as a Heavy Varmint but not as a Sporter — even if I used a 5-lb barrel.”

Pre-loading vs. Loading at the Match
Roger often loads at the range, but this wasn’t feasible at the NBRSA 600-yard Nationals. Roger explains: “When shooting ‘point blank’ (100/200) events, I usually load at the match like the majority of shooters. However this 600-yard event in Sacramento required airplane travel. These days, when flying, you are very limited as to cargo weight. Also you can NOT carry gun powder or primers. In your checked luggage, you are limited to 5 kilos (11 lbs.) of LOADED ammo and two long guns (or 5 pistols). Accordingly, I couldn’t take my dies/press/etc. with me, so I preloaded for the 600-yard Nationals.”

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing 4 Comments »
May 6th, 2009

Berger Introduces 6.5mm and 6mm 100-grain Bullets

You may have heard rumors about a new 100gr projectile from Berger Bullets. Eric Stecker, Berger’s Master Bulletsmith, confirmed that there will be not one but TWO new 100gr match bullets coming soon from Berger, one in 6mm and one in 6.5mm. These are both boat-tail designs using J4 jackets. Eric explains: “Both these bullets are based on Berger’s proven designs, with standard length ogives and 9° boat-tails. Nothing radical. They are built in response to shooters’ requests to expand our bullet line-up to include new weight options in 6mm and 6.5mm.”

Berger Bullets

New 100gr 6.5mm Bullet for High Power
Berger’s new 6.5mm 100gr BT Target projectile provides a low-recoil, lighter-weight option for target rifle shooters using the 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, 260 Rem, and 6.5-284 cartridges. The new 6.5mm 100-grainer was created in response to requests from High Power and Across-the-Course shooters for a lighter-recoiling, accurate boat-tail bullet for “short line” work. We predict this bullet may also work well for varmint and small-game hunters. This bullet features a short boat-tail and a “mildly secant” design which should work well either seated into the lands or jumped away from the lands. Bryan Litz says: “it’s definitely not a VLD, but it has a different ogive curve than a typical tangent-ogive bullet.” The shorter length of the 100gr bullet, compared to 140gr-class 6.5mm bullets, should also allow tactical shooters to easily load their ammo to mag length. The calculated BC of the new bullet is 0.370, significantly higher than flat-based 100gr 6.5mm bullets from other manufacturers. A minimum twist rate of 1:10” is recommended for Berger’s hew 6.5mm 100gr Target Bullet.

Berger Bullets

New 100gr 6mm Match Bullet — More Velocity Than 105/108
Long-range benchresters have had great success with the Berger 108gr match bullet, introduced in 2007. Given the popularity of its tangent-ogive 108, Berger has been developing a shorter, lighter version, which can shoot faster than the 108 in small cartridges such as the 6mmBR, 6mmAR (6-6.5 Grendel), and 6 PPC. The new 6mm 100-grainer will be very similar to the 108. The 100 has the same ogive curve and boat-tail as the 108 but has a shorter OAL and shorter bearing surface (0.368″ vs. 0.409″). A minimum twist rate of 1:8” is recommended for the new 100 — same as for the 108. In a 6BR rifle, the 100-grainer’s reduced bearing surface, combined with reduced mass, should enable Berger’s new 100gr 6mm bullet to fly 50-70 fps faster than the 108 (with charges of equal pressure).

Berger Bullets

However, there is a trade-off. Being shorter and lighter, the 100-grainer has a lower BC compared to its 108gr big brother. While the Berger 108 has a 0.511 BC, the calculated BC for the 100-grainer is 0.475. That BC difference will show up at long range, but the extra speed of the lighter bullet may enable it to reach a higher, optimal “velocity node” which may deliver superior accuracy in some rifles. We will be testing the new 100-grainer soon. In a 6BR that might max out at 2850 fps with the 108s, we predict the 100gr Berger should run close to 2900 fps. In a 6BR that delivers 2900 fps currently with the 108s, you may see 2950 fps (or more) with the new Berger 100s. The 2900-2950 fps speed range is a well-known “accuracy node” for both 6mm and 6.5mm bullets.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product No Comments »
May 5th, 2009

Ken Brucklacher Sets 1000-Yard Score Record: 100-8X

Ken Brucklacher, current President of the Original Pensylvania 1000-yard Benchrest Club (Williamsport), joined the immortals this Sunday, May 3rd. Shooting a .300 Weatherby Mag with 240gr Sierra MatchKings, Ken set a new 10-shot Heavy Gun World Record score of 100-8X. The group size was pretty amazing too. A measured 3.137″, Ken’s ten shots also set a new group record at the Williamsport range, besting the previous mark set 13 years ago by John Voneida (3.151″ and 100 score). Brucklacher’s group is just 0.089″ larger than the 3.048″ all-time, 1000-yard small group shot last month by Joel Pendergraft.

Conditions were good when Ken set the record. It was cool, with overcast skies, and the winds were calm with “the flags still hanging down”. Ken said he “took his time, made sure he was on for every shot.” He pretty much held “on the center of the white patch” in the 1000-yard target. The result was spectacular, as you can see below:

Brucklacher 1000 yard record

Ken has been shooting 1K benchrest for 9 years, and in the past year his big Heavy Gun has been awesome. This new 100-8X record was not a fluke. Ken’s gun has already shot two 100s in competition. In fact, Ken set a 6-match, Heavy Gun 1000-yard World Record for score with his .300 Weatherby, averaging 98.333. In 2008, Ken’s Heavy Gun shot a 100.0 score in the 8th Williamsport 1K match, a 99.0 in the 9th Match, and another 100.0 in the 10th match of the year. That’s consistency.

300 Weatherby Norma

Gun Specs: Aluminum stock, Lawton Action, Krieger Barrel
Ken’s record-setting Heavy Gun features a Lawton action in a John Buhay machined aluminum stock. Gunsmith Mark King (Duncannon, PA) built the gun and chambered the 34″ Krieger, 10-twist barrel as a .300 Weatherby Magnum with 0.339″ neck. The record group was set with a windage-adjustable rear rest. Elevation is set with the front rest. Interestingly, when shooting the record group, Ken was “holding dead center on the white patch”.

Record-Setting Load: .300 Weatherby Mag, 240gr SMKs, H4831SC, Fed 215Ms
Ken set the record with a .300 Weatherby Mag shooting 240gr Sierra MKs, seated 0.028″ off the lands. His load was 72.0 grains of Hodgdon H4831sc pushed by Federal 215M primers.

Brucklacher 1000 yard recordBrucklacher used Norma .300 Weatherby brass “right out of the box”. You read that right… Ken set the record with brand new Norma brass with no case prep whatsoever. He didn’t touch the flash holes or primer pockets — in fact Ken didn’t even chamfer the case mouths. This was brand new brass, not fire-formed. According to Ken, he “just added a primer, filled the cases with powder, and shoved in a bullet.”

While Ken does not point his bullets or trim meplats, he did weigh and measure the 240gr MatchKings (base to ogive) before loading. Ken has not chronographed this load so he doesn’t know the velocity. Ken didn’t do any special load tweaking for this record group. However, he explained that he changed his seating depth last summer, going from .018″ jump to .028″ jump. That minor change, Ken noted, “really seemed to close up the groups”.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 5 Comments »
May 5th, 2009

ATF Reform Bill Introduced

A new bill, S. 941, has been introduced in Congress, reflecting a bipartisan effort to reform the ATF’s regulatory activities. While the bill gives the ATF new enforcement powers (other than license revocation), it also creates new protections for FFL holders. “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Reform and Firearms Modernization Act of 2009″ (S. 941), strikes a balance between providing ATF with additional regulatory options to encourage even greater compliance short of revocation while at the same time affording licensees more rights and due process in the regulatory scheme. The bi-partisan bill was introduced by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). It would allow ATF new powers to issue fines and suspend licenses of Federal Firearms Licensees (as opposed to current regulations which only allow for license revocation). The legislation would also allow ATF to distinguish between violations and “benign/administrative” violations and create an appeal process whereby FFLs would have cases heard before a neutral administrative law judge, rather than an ATF official. NSSF is supportive of this bill as it will help protect the rights of FFLs while giving ATF more flexibility in how they exercise their regulatory authority to encourage enhanced compliance.

This report provided by National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Permalink News No Comments »
May 4th, 2009

2009 Super Shoot Commences May 20 at Kelbly's Range

Kelblys super shootPolish up your PPCs boys, the Super Shoot is coming up real soon! The Firearm Industry Super Shoot (FISS), the largest short-range benchrest match in North America, runs for four days, May 20-23, 2009 at the Kelbly range in North Lawrence, Ohio. This is a LV/HV match only. Here’s the shooting schedule: May 20 10.5-lb 100 yards; May 21 13.5-lb 100 yards; May 22 13.5-lb 200 yards; May 23 10.5-lb 200 yards.

Some Slots Still Available
The Super Shoot attracts 320 or more shooters every year. For more information, go to Super Shoot Info Page, or click the links below. The competition is limited to 420 shooters. But it’s not too late to register. The Kelblys tell us “there are still places available if you get your registration in soon.” Note: after May 10, 2009, registration fees are $120.00 per gun. No exceptions.

FISS benchrest Super Shoot

7222 Dalton Fox Lake Road
North Lawrence, OH 44666
Phone: (330) 683-4674

Registration Form (.pdf file)

General Information

Map to Range

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
May 4th, 2009

Weaver Introduces new "Super Slam" Scopes

Weaver OpticsWeaver is the latest company to introduce a new series of Japanese-made optics with a high (5:1) zoom ratio. The new Super Slam series includes 2-10×50, 3-15×50, and 5-20×50 riflescopes, all offered with 1″-diameter main tubes and four (4) reticle options: Dual-X (med. duplex), Fine Crosshair (with dot), Illuminated Duplex, and Weaver’s proprietary EBX™ ballistic reticle. According to Tom Knudtson, Weaver Product Line Manager. “This new EBX reticle allows for accurate bullet trajectory compensation for long-range shots and is a perfect compliment to our 3-point erector system with improved spring design.” Among the new 1″-tubed Super Slams, we think our readers will be most interested in the 6-20x50mm. This 27.5 oz. scope features side-focus parallax control, extra-hard lens coatings, and “pull-up” turrets (no caps to lose). The 6-20×50 has 1/8-MOA clicks and 3 finishes are offered: Matte Black, Gloss Black, and Silver.

Weaver Super Slam Tactical

Tactical Super Slams Have Front Focal Plane (FFP) Reticles
There are two new Japanese-made Super Slam Tactical Models, the 3-15×50 (#800362), and the 4-20×50 (#800360). Both scopes feature 30mm main tubes, large fixed turret knobs (no caps), and a mil-dot reticle. Notably, both Tactical models have the reticle in the front (first) focal plane. This means the size of the reticle (and the mildots) remain the same (relative to the object viewed) at all magnification levels. That is an important feature for shooters using the mil-dots for ranging. FFP design is logical for a true “tactical” scope, and Weaver was wise to incorporate FFP into the Super Slam Tactical scopes. Weaver claims these Tactical scopes are waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.

Permalink New Product, Optics 2 Comments »
May 3rd, 2009

RCBS ChargeMaster Slow-Motion Video

RCBS Chargemaster 1500The RCBS Chargemaster 1500 Combo is the #1-selling electronic powder dispenser/scale system on the market. It was the top-performing unit in the Powder Dispenser Comparison Report we did a couple years back, and it still probably offers the best combination of features, speed, and weighing precision. Since its introduction, the RCBS Chargemaster has received a number of refinements. The internal software has been updated, the timing (of the powder drop) has been adjusted, the keypad has been upgraded and other smaller “tweaks” have been made.

If you haven’t tried one of these machines yet, you should. Provided you set it up correctly, making sure it’s level, and away from drafts, the Chargemaster will normally throw charges to ± 0.1 grains. That’s better accuracy than most persons can achieve using a manual powder measure and a balance beam scale (we know… we’ve checked on that.)

Video of RCBS Chargemaster in Slow-Motion
This video, created by a shooter in Norway, shows an RCBS Chargemaster dispensing 43.0 grains of Vihtavuori N140 powder. Using a Casio EX-F1 camera, the video was recorded at a high frame rate — up to 1200 frames per second. This allows very cool “Slow-Motion” playback. Check it out… you can see individual kernels of powder as they drop into the pan. At the end of the video you can watch the charge being thrown in “real-time”. Note how it slows down to trickle the last few tenths of a grain.

YouTube Preview Image
Permalink - Videos, Gear Review 2 Comments »
May 3rd, 2009

NRA Offers Shooting Clinics for Women

Many shooting instructors will tell you that women are better “natural learners” than men when it comes to shooting. We certainly know that ladies can compete at the highest level with men, when given the opportunity. To promote female participation in the shooting sports, the NRA offers a series of Women On Target® Instructional Shooting Clinics. These introductory classes demonstrate safe firearms handling, teach basic shooting skills, and introduce lady shooters to a variety of shooting disciplines — from trap shooting to bullseye pistol.

NRA Womens' Shooting Program

In 2009, the NRA will conduct Women On Target® Clinics throughout the nation. CLICK HERE to find a clinic near your location. Below is a list of clinics scheduled for the next two weeks:

5/6/09 Anchorage, AK
5/9/09 Washington, MI
5/9/09 Randolph, KS
5/9/09 Chino, CA
5/9/09 Milton Freewater, OR
5/9/09 Coplay, PA
5/9/09 Valdez, AK
5/9/09 Williston, FL
5/14/09 Phoenix, AZ
5/16/09 Logan, MT
5/16/09 Columbus, NC
5/16/09 Keene, NH
5/16/09 Pelham, NH
5/16/09 Hiawassee, GA
5/16/09 Greensburg, PA
5/16/09 Salem, WV
5/16/09 Richmond, CA
5/16/09 Midvale, OH
5/17/09 Charleston, SC
5/17/09 Jackson, WI

For more information, visit the NRA’s Women On Target webpage or contact Beth Hellmann in the NRA Women’s Programs Department at (703) 267-1398 or

Permalink News No Comments »
May 2nd, 2009

May Specials at Midsouth Shooters Supply

There are some great deals among the May Specials at Midsouth Shooters Supply.

Midsouth Shooters Sale

Browning 15″ Bull’s Bag — This bag, an “X”-type front sandbag similar to the popular Uncle Bud’s bag, is on close-out for just $24.99 (sand not included). Choose from Black/Yellow (item 237-16022), or Black/Mossy Oak Camo (237-16024). This is a great deal. An Uncle Bud’s Bull’s Bag normally runs about $49.00.

Caldwell “Rock” Competition Model Front Rest — Midsouth has the “RocK” Comp Model on sale for $149.99. While many “Rock” owners end up replacing the front bag, this unit is a surprisingly good front rest for the money. With a 15.5-lb cast-iron “slingshot” base similar to the Bald Eagle design, the Caldwell Rock is very stable. The captain’s wheel works fine for elevation adjustments. Windage adjustment is less than ideal, as a threaded shaft rotates the whole head to adjust windage, rather than sliding the head back and forth in a straight line. Yes, at the extremes of adjustment, that can cause some binding, but most of the time it works just fine.

Smart Reloader Kinetic (Impact) Bullet Puller — Midsouth has its “house-brand” hammer-style bullet puller on sale for just $11.13. This unit is virtually identical to “name-brand” bullet pullers sold for up to $20.00. The unit comes complete with three, o-ring-secured collets (small, med, large) that will work with just about any cartridge… from 22 Hornet to 45/70.

Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
May 1st, 2009

Sako Finnfire for Rimfire Tactical Competition

Forum Member Mark E. (Shooter65) is the proud owner of a handsome, very accurate SAKO Finnfire ‘Range’ 22LR rimfire. Fitted with a full-size stock that replicates Tikka’s Master Sporter stocks, SAKO’s Range model has the look and feel of a centerfire gun. The size and ergonomics of the Finnfire Range makes this an excellent cross-training rifle. If you want to train with inexpensive rimfire ammo with a rifle that duplicates the feel of a centerfire, the Finnfire Range is hard to beat. Mark has competed successfully with this rifle in Southern California Rimfire Tactical matches.

Sako finnfire 22LR

Rimfire Tactical SAKO

Mark recently replaced the factory tube with a hand-lapped Lilja barrel. The Lilja barrel has demonstrated superb accuracy. Below is a 10-shot group at 50 yards (left), and a “dot-drill” tactical target shot at 100 yards (right).

Sako finnfire target Sako finnfire target

In the video below, Mark explains the features of his SAKO Finnfire ‘Range’. This video was produced before the addition of the Lilja barrel, but the gun still shot extremely well. Unfortunately, as Mark notes, SAKO has halted production of the Finnfire Range. As a result, prices are rising for this highly desirable rimfire — guns that sold for $850 two years ago are now fetching $1100.00 or more.

YouTube Preview Image
Permalink Gear Review No Comments »